From our earliest days as children, we have been directed to “tell the truth.”
At that age, we thought we understood that meant never lie. The truth was simple.
But as we grew older, the truth wasn’t so simple. “Little white lies” slowly drifted into the picture. Now as adults, sometimes we wonder what the truth really is, or if we can really handle it. Remember Jack Nicholson screaming at Tom Cruise in a military trial in the movie, “A Few Good Men” – “You can’t handle the truth.”
An example of the question of what the truth really is would be: What is the truth on the issue of global climate? It is the philosophy of truth and the consensus theory of truth that the truth is defined as whatever is agreed upon by a specified group or subset.
So, for example, if you specified that the truth in global climate is whatever a majority of environmental scientists
agree upon, the truth would be that we are now experiencing global warming caused by the action of the human race. But not all agree.
The Islamic tradition takes the hadith approach that “my community will never agree upon an error.”
More and more people believe that what the truth is based upon their own opinion rather than upon fact. In the matter of politics, Americans are taking sides and the side chosen is fortified by selected facts that support the opinion we started with – that is more emotional than logical.
Most polls relating to public opinion on the presidents of this country from Washington through Trump list Abraham Lincoln at the top of the scale on honesty. But we haven’t had a Lincoln for 155 years and aren’t likely to ever have another one. Our trend is in the opposite direction.
Today, truth is more important than ever on the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and a plan to regain our national health and economy, our policy on global warming, our national security, our racial attitudes and police policies, our law enforcement and justice system, foreign trade, immigration, financial aid to the economic victims of the pandemic, conspiracy theories, the role of lobbyists and “dark money” in our congress, and who will serve in the congress and White House for the next four years.
At the present time, there is a cloud of despair and pessimism hanging over our country because the government is divided and not working.
Who do we trust? Who do we believe?
Again, truth is needed urgently to correct our negative national attitude. The truth please – no more lies.